Vision and History

A Bit of History

CuteCircuit is a pioneer in the field of Wearable Technology. Francesca and Ryan, CuteCircuit’s co-founders and designers have been working together since 2001, finally founding CuteCircuit in 2004.

When Francesca was a designer at Valentino, the Italian fashion house, in 1998, she proposed to make an evening dress embroidered with electroluminescent thread that would light up in reaction to the wearer’s movement. Nobody else wanted to experiment with something so new, but she kept dreaming that one day fashion and technology would come together. In 2001 when she was designing accessories at Esprit, the German RTW label, she proposed to create a purse with a GPS built in, that would send the owner a message if it got stolen or lost. Again, sales figures from previous “normal” designs prevented the idea to being developed further.

Francesca was really convinced that one day these kinds of interactive fashions would become the new “normal”, and reading an article on an Italian design magazine she found out about the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, in Italy, where beautiful minds from all over the world were gathering to explore how technology would change people’s lives five to ten years in the future, and one of the research areas was the integration of fashion and technology.

Finally Francesca resigned her position from these commercial ventures and received a research scholarship to join IDII (Interaction Design Institute Ivrea). At IDII she met Ryan, he was coming from a design and anthropology background and believed that interactions should not only be on screen, using computers, but out in the real world through physical interfaces. When they founded CuteCircuit in 2004, all their amazing ideas started to become a reality.

Many people think that Francesca and Ryan are engineers, seeing CuteCircuit’s designs as very advanced pieces of wearable technology. They are both designers, but when CuteCircuit started, they were so frustrated by the hired engineers trying to design hard, square circuits, that they decided to learn how to design the circuits as well in order to create soft smart circuits exactly as they wanted them to be. And since CuteCircuit has been doing this for more than fifteen years, as the saying goes “practice makes perfect”. CuteCircuit wouldn’t be CuteCircuit if the wonderfully lightweight and flexible smart textile circuits embedded into our garments weren’t beautiful.

Wearable Technology

Wearable or Portable?

At CuteCircuit we believe that the future of fashion is now, and finally the world agrees. Wearable Technology has become the catch-all buzzword, but does anyone know exactly what it is?

The market keeps proposing bracelets, watches, little boxes strapped anywhere on the body, but at CuteCircuit we believe that wearable technology is not a gadget strapped to your wrist. A piece of Wearable technology should be a beautiful garment that allows the human body to become an interface, a sort of second skin, that can connect us to people and places, even far away and remote ones.

Fashion has always been the interface between a person and their peers, the colour we wear represents our mood, the garments we wear give onlookers a glimpse into our personality. But while the whole world has become digital, fashion has lagged behind, seducing consumers with cheaply manufactured goods that are manufactured exploiting defenceless workers. At CuteCircuit we are changing this. Our tailors manufacture wonderful garments, enhanced by digital technologies, that are made to last. Garments that are beautiful and magical and give the wearer a feeling of empowerment and connectedness.

The manufacturing methods we use in creating these garments are clean and carefully chosen, respecting the environment and the wearers. We believe that a beautiful product should be beautiful inside and out.

Our vision for the future is that all the boxes that we carry with us today, such as mobile phones, cameras, watches, etc; will disappear. All the interfaces will become invisible, embedded into our clothing, always with us, but in an unobtrusive fashion, allowing us to communicate with each other. We call this Human-Human Interaction.